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Dad lets 4yo decide to not include mom in Halloween; she's not speaking to him. AITA?

Dad lets 4yo decide to not include mom in Halloween; she's not speaking to him. AITA?


"AITA for taking our son trick or treating without my wife?"

My (29m) wife (30f) and I have a four year old son. As Halloween approached this year, my son let me know that he wanted to dress up as characters from his favorite show at the moment. These aren’t costumes that are readily available to buy, so I was going to have to do some crafting magic and make them.

I’m a stay at home father and my wife is something of a workaholic. She could cut down on her hours if she wished, but she’s always been a very work driven/focused person. She’s not very maternal. Because of this, my son has never been very attached to her.

They have time together at dinner, but even during times when my wife is off work (like during bath time and bed time) it’s always just me. This isn’t me complaining; I signed on for the SAHD life and I enjoy every minute of it. I just wish, for his sake, that she would be more involved.

About a month before Halloween, my son asked if my best friend (35m) could dress up with us. He had already assigned himself and me a specific character and I had started work on the costumes, so I figured it wouldn’t be a big deal to add one more. He ADORES Best Friend.

They have such a sweet bond, and have since my son was born. I asked Best Friend if he wanted to join us trick or treating, and he immediately agreed.

During dinner the night following this, I asked him what character he wanted his mom to be. My son said he only wanted to go trick or treating with daddy and Best Friend. Over the course of the next month, I would casually bring it up again to my son and he continually gave the same answer. My wife was clearly hurt but would always brush it off.

Fast forward to Halloween night. I had spent weeks working on these little costumes for all of us. As we were getting ready, my wife and I got into a big argument over the fact that she didn’t have a costume.

I pointed out that if she had wanted me to make her one, she could have requested I do so, or she could have gotten one for herself. She said it was ridiculous that the three of us were doing a matching theme and leaving her out of it, and that she wasn’t even going.

In the end, Best Friend and I took him trick or treating alone and my wife still isn’t speaking to me because she “can’t believe I actually went without her.” AITA?

From the comments:

lizzybell2019 says:

I have to go with YTA. I'm halfway waiting for the update where you turn the guest room into an art studio for the best friend without discussing it with your wife.

alternativeedge7 says:

Dude…HE’S FOUR. It’s your job to teach him appropriate behavior, not indulge his every whim and create an entitled, selfish brat. Do better. YTA.

Similar_Chef_8085 OP responded:

My thought process was not indulging his every whim, it was - as I said - about facilitating bonding. That should be a positive experience or else it will be useless.

nmvalerie says:

Parents make their kids do things all the time that they don’t want to do and the kid ends up liking it. It’s a growing experience to change your mind. When I was a kid I threw a fit about not wanting to go to a demolition derby with my dad.

He was also a workaholic and I was very girly. My parents made me go and I had a blast. It’s one of my best memories. I’m really glad my parents parented me instead of being passive aggressive with each other and blaming it on a four year old.

Similar_Chef_8085 OP responded:

I'm glad you have that memory with your father.

I might have made a misstep in not pushing harder for the costume. I just wish she would have expressed to him herself that she wanted to be involved. I think this would have turned out differently had she expressed some interest at any point other than the day of the event.

AzurePantaloons says:

NTA. I really feel for your little boy. Your story reminds me of cat’s in the cradle, where the dad doesn’t have time for his son and his son grows up and has no time for him.

I’m a mother and I work outside the home. It’s not about her career. It’s the fact that she comes home and doesn’t make time for him. Of course he’s not going to suddenly want to be close because it’s Halloween. He’s protecting himself

Similar_Chef_8085 OP responded:

I've tried to be understanding - sometimes people just don't have that pull to kids or to being parents. He was a surprise for us, so to an extent I get it. Still, I adore being a dad. She clearly hasn't found her rhythm with parenthood like I have.

I've done my very best to surround him with people who love him and who are hands-on with him (myself, Best Friend, my parents and siblings) and am hoping she gets more into helping out when he gets older.

mngull says:

Exactly what I was thinking of this creative story! Certainly, all sensible parents leave it up to a 4-year-old to decide who gets to go trick-or-treating. Can't wait until the child decides where they go for Thanksgiving. Best friend's without mom of course!

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